[clug] Off topic: OS/X USB boot device for 'normal' PC'S

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Wed Jun 25 06:49:58 GMT 2008

Arjen Lentz wrote on 25/6/08 3:03 PM:

> I've been active enough in this realm (software licensing) to not be
> naive, nor would anyone who knows me a bit think so.
> I do like to play devil's advocate with this kind of stuff though, as it
> brings out the underlying actual issues with software licensing.
> In regards to this specific case, I don't think it's as clear as some
> people here reckon it is - whether we here identified the weak spots
> correctly or not, I have serious reservations on whether someone running
> OS X on non-Apple hardware could be successfully proscecuted.
<snip pystar>
> Cheers,
> Arjen.

Some history: in 1969 IBM unbundled their hardware and software.

Before then, the O/S and other software came 'free' with their hardware.
'unbundling' led directly to the Plug-Compatible-Manufacturer industry
(the likes of Amdahl). It forced IBM to resile from their 'traditional
pricing' model and compete with real alternatives in the market place.

This greatly benefited 'the market' - giving consumers choice and better
 prices, and forcing IBM to become much more innovative and efficient.
A 1956 consent decree had forced them to sell, not just lease, their
machines. Unbundling was seen as an extension or continuation of it.

The 1956 "consent decrees" involving IBM & AT&T.
Bell Labs (AT&T) had invented the transistor and were forced to not
licence it, but make it public domain. IBM shared patents on computers
and were forced to give them up (see wiki article).

The upshot of the consent decrees was that AT&T wasn't allowed to get
into computing (why they didn't sell Unix or their own computers until
~1982) and IBM wasn't allowed into Telecommunications (they bought a
PABX company in the 80's).

In 1982, AT&T entered another consent decree to break up 'the empire'
after Judge Harold Greene had declared it couldn't win an on-going case.
(in 'howstuffworks' link above)

What we have with Apple now is the same 'software bundled with hardware'

Why can't I just buy OS/X?
There's no technical reason nor any valid business reason apart from
'because we can' with the presumed intent of Apple maximising profits
from their natural monopoly.

Should they be allowed to bundle - especially now *they* chose to move
to a commodity platform? (I won't say 'Industry Standard Architecture'.)

Do their actions constitute 'third-line forcing' - prohibited under the
Trade Practice Act?  Feels that way to me :-) But IANAL.

I would just like to *buy* a proper OS/X licence and be legit!

Apple deserves money for their effort and I'd really like to pay them -
which didn't come across before.

The advice "use something else" doesn't work for me. I simply can't get
a bunch of software on Linux - and I don't see Windows as an alternative
- it's not POSIX - it doesn't comply with a basic computing *standard*.

Sorry for being provocative.
<attach suit=flameproof />

Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://members.tip.net.au/~sjenkin

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